November 22, 2017

The Mallorys.

Every morning when I wake up
and I realize I failed to die,
I look at my phone to see who called,
to see who cared

And I can’t help but always notice … 
your name is never there

My goodness, here’s something out of the blue, rather unique, and quite able to knock a listener completely off his/her feet ... but where in holy heck did this come from?!  Apparently, a gentleman named Danny Robles, who would seem to be the leader and chief songwriter, with help from a few friends in the Chicago area, choosing a perfectly twee band name, aptly serving as the release title:  The Mallorys.
 
But how best to describe it?  Well, most (but not all) of the tracks fall neatly into the ubiquitous "Post-Smiths Jangle-Twee" category, resembling a cross between, say, Cats on Fire and The Felt Tips, with pleasantly spiraling guitar arpeggios and witty, gleefully self-obsessed, 'literary' lyrics delivered in a meter firmly in the Moz mold and nearly all describing a suicidal level of infatuation, gloriously unrequited.

November 16, 2017

The Innocence Mission - The Snow on Pi Day EP

 

This snow on Pi Day was not called for at all

We’ll make today’s, laid in our arms
universe of sky and the deep, deep streets,
perfect and clean


I wish I was starting over
A sign is a sign and the patterns of science
cannot be, be always right

After a smooth, decade-long shift from prog-indie beginnings in ’89 to acoustic folk heroes by 2000 (as Karen Peris’ vocals morphed from unbelievably powerful Kate Bush-isms to an expressive, ethereal fragility that can produce tears faster than slicing a bag of Spanish onions), The Innocence Mission made a more subtle shift, just after Befriended (2003) and We Walked in Song (2007), which both straddled the fence between acoustic singer-songwriter and the indie-folk meld of Glow (1995), to a more spare approach starting with 2009’s Street Map EP that seems more expansive, at times darn near ‘psychedelic’ in the lyric word-painting, emphasis on mood over obvious hooks (particularly the tasteful piano filigrees) and frequent instrumentals.

November 12, 2017

Snail Mail

If you like your modern indie slow-burning, lo-fi and modestly abrasive, with thoughtful, memorable guitar-playing and up-front, expressive vocals that seem at least a second cousin to past ‘Emo’ styles, then Snail Mail (Lindsey Jordan’s 3-piece solo project) should be the first place you look.  In the process, you’ll also discover perhaps the most precocious example in the history of the genre – though that shouldn’t be your main focus.  Let me explain …

November 9, 2017

Black Tambourine - Throw Aggi Off The Bridge

Eclectic MixTape:  Track-of-the-Day


So throw her off the bridge
Just toss her in the drink
She's coming in between us
You know the girl I mean
. . . We both know it's got to be done

Perhaps the noisiest entry in the 90s ‘twee’ category (likely because the group was American), infamous not only due to the pithy lyric and later influence on noise-pop bands such as the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, but perhaps even more from the legendary, repetitive drum riff, an insanely quick “BAP BAP ba-BAP ba-BAP CRASH !” which I’m always inclined to play along with whenever I’ve had a caffeine overdose.

Unfortunately, as I don’t own a drum kit, I’ve destroyed 4 ½ Black & Decker toasters, as well as the muffler from a 2009 Honda Accord LX, trying to replicate this, rubber mallet in one hand, tree-pruning shears in the other.  In the event this might have a similar effect on you, you may want to completely enclose any nearby delicate objects (Tiffany lamps, wife, children) in a quality, commercial grade bubble wrap before clicking the PLAY button above.  Consider yourself warned …

(Silver Spring, MD – 1992)

November 7, 2017

Goat Explosion - Why Don't You Say

Eclectic MixTape:  Track-of-the-Day


Somebody tell me
is there a way for me
to destroy my reality?
Kiss me or kill me,
cause I've waited so long

Do you believe me?
Oh, can you see me?


The Drums founding members (and childhood friends) Jonny Pierce and Jacob Graham, even before a prior incarnation as ‘Elkland,’ were making synth-driven indie-pop, sans both the guitars and Smiths-Joy Division-Surf/Math Rock influences that would come later, under the short-lived name 'Goat Explosion.' 

Though that sounds quite messy, this particular track is rather tight, and punchy and infectious as influenza-A, taking nods from New Order (if first administered a case of 5-hour ENERGY), 90s dance club sensibilities and even a bit of late-80s MTV.  If better known, one suspects this might have wide appeal, both to synth- and indie-pop mavens.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear any GE tracks are available for purchase, but thanks to diligent You-Tubers, this one, at least for now, has been preserved.

(Brooklyn, NY - 2004)